July 30 1999

Mannini For Forest: David Platt has gone back to his old club, Sampdoria, in an attempt to land Italian International defender Moreno Mannini on a free transfer.

Mannini is 36 years old and has made over 400 Serie A appearances and been capped for Italy. Platt is understood to be close to finalizing the deal with only personal terms to be sorted.

Platt said of Mannini: "He has to be the shrewdest defender I have ever played alongside."

July 29 1999

Goldbaek A Step Nearer: Rumours this afternoon indicate that Bjarne Goldbaek has reached an agreement with David Platt over his proposed �1.5m move to the City Ground. He has, however, asked for time to discuss the move and the implications of the drop in divisions, with his wife and family.

July 28 1999

Goldbaek Deal Back On: Although the deal had never formally been dropped there has been very little talk of Goldbaek's proposed �1.5m move from Stamford Bridge to the City Ground these past two weeks. In fact news on this deal has been rarer than the proverbial rocking horse dung.

According to several papers today, including The Sun and the Nottingham Evening Post, the deal has burst into life again and Goldbaek is due at the City Ground on Thursday to discuss personal terms.

Palmer on His Way: According to two newspapers I have read today, The Sun and The Mirror, Forest are prepared to listen to offers for Carlton Palmer.

Palmer was Big Ron's only signing for money in his brief tenure at the City Ground, paying �1m for the player.

Palmer had 'show-down' talks with David Platt when he took over the club and it looks like Palmer could be on his way.

July 26 1999

Foxes Drop Johnson Bid: Rumour has it that Martin O'Neill has decided to switch his attention away from pursuing injured midfielder Andy Johnson.
With Johnson ruled out for four months as he wears a cast to support an Achilles tendon injury needing surgery, Foxes boss O'Neill is considering Simon Grayson from Aston Villa. The 29-year old Grayson looks set to end his two year career at Villa Park where he has struggled to keep a first team place.

Johnson Under the Knife: It is believed that Andy Johnson is to undergo surgery this week in a bid to cure his Achilles Tendon problems. 

Johnson has been wearing a cast throughout the Summer break in the hope that it would cure the problem without the need for surgery. Doctors have now told him it didn't work and his only option is the surgery.

July 25 1999

Sicknote for Forest: According to the Sunday Mirror today, David Platt is after Darren 'Sicknote' Anderson from Spurs. To get him though, Platt would have to bid �6m, and assume that 'Sicknote would be interested in dropping down a division.

July 19 1999

Is It Jermaine: Forest have today been linked with a �500,000 bid for Crewe player Jermaine Wright. Wright is a wide midfield player. He started his playing career with Millwall before heading for Wolves and then spending a spell on loan at Doncaster, before going to Crewe.

July 18 1999

Signings Identified: After yesterdays announcement that new signings are on their way, there has been much speculation as to who these could be.

Football 365 have linked us with Riccardo Scimeca, the Villa defender, in a deal for �3million.

The Mail On Sunday are also reporting that we have had a bid of �3million accepted by Villa for Scimeca. He is now negotiating personal terms.

The News of The World reports a bid of �2.5million for Scimeca.

The News of The World also reports that we have agreed a �1.5million bid with Chelsea for Bjarne Goldbaek and Platt hopes to sort out personal terms and get the deal finished early this week.

Mind you, can't say I'm impressed with the accuracy of the News of The World reporters, after all they refer to David Platt as 'the County Ground boss'. Funny that, I don't recall him being sacked and taking over at Swindon. Still, could be worse, at least they didn't refer to us as Notts Forest.

July 17 1999

Signings on the Way: According to the Nottingham Evening Post  today, David Platt will be making his first new signings for Forest within the week.

It is understood that bids have been made and accepted for two players and that discussions on personal terms are at an advanced stage.

The identities of the players has not been revealed, but at least one is expected to be a striker.

David Platt said: "Lets just say we've made some enquiries and that one or two could be with us very soon." 

July 15 1999

Clayton on His Way: According to the grapevine today, David Clayton, commercial manager at Forest, is leaving the club. He joined Forest two years ago from Wolves. There has been no comment as yet from the club as to where or why he is leaving.

July 12 1999

Des Walker for Forest?: According to a rumour circulating on the electronic mailing list Des Walker could be on his way back to Forest. Walker still hasn't signed an extension to his current contract at Sheffield Wednesday. 

I know it's only a rumour, but wouldn't it be nice?

Pierre Angers Managers: The actions of Pierre van Hooijdonk, during his two year stay at Forest, have sparked calls for player power to be cut down.

The League Manager's Association is to meet with other football authorities, like the Professional Footballer's Association to try and quash player power.

The former Nottingham Forest Manager, Frank Clark, now vice-chairman of the League Manager's Association, said he was amazed the Dutchman was given a payoff when he left the club last month. Forest were forced to pay the player a percentage of his contract, which expired in 2002.

Clark said: "Fines should be increased so the maximum is more than just two weeks wages, and if a player goes on strike then they should forfeit any contract pay-offs. We don't want to go back to the old days when players were paid just �20, but we would like to get back on to an equal footing.

"Van Hooijdonk was not paid for three months, but it made no difference to him.

"All this money makes the players more powerful, which is a major problem. The worry is that with power comes responsibility and many of these players just aren't living up to that.

"The only good thing is that since Pierre went on strike his career has gone backwards."  

July 9 1999

Foxes Want Johnson: The rumours regarding Leicester City's interest in Andy Johnson have resurfaced again. The Foxes were linked back in May and early June with a possible move to sign the Forest and Wales midfielder. Martin O'Neill is said to be very keen on the player and they worked together before when they were both at Norwich City.

The rumours died down when Forest were trying to woo O'Neill to become the new boss. Since the move for O'Neill failed and the subsequent signing of new boss, David Platt, things have been very quiet on this front. But at least two sources today are indicating that the Foxes are to renew their attempts at luring Johnson down the A46 to Filbert street.

It is unlikely that any further developments will take place before mid-August as Johnson is currently sidelined with a torn Achilles tendon.

July 8 1999

Platt's Your Lot: Nottingham Forest manager David Platt has told rival managers that he will not be ripped off in the transfer market. Platt has �10m to spend but he said: 

"A few people might be acutely aware that Forest are not short of funds. Perhaps they are thinking they could make a quick profit.

"But any deals I do will be at the right valuation or not at all. I won't be spending over the odds."

July 7 1999

Shipps was a Snip: It has been disclosed that Forest have recieved a fee of �750,000 from Barnsley for the transfer of Neil Shipperly. This sum represents half of what Forest originally paid for him. But it brings the total Dave Bassett has spent on this one player to �3.25m.

I can only assume that Shipperley has some serious photographic evidence against Bassett, there can be no other explanation.

Shipperly commented that he was glad of a chance to make a fresh start after a bad time at Forest. "It didn't turn out to be a good move. It wasn't a good time to be there and the Pierre Van Hooijdonk thing didn't help.

"When he came back, I became a bit-part player, so it wasn't a good time. I'm just glad it's over."

Lyttle Gets a Bosman: Looks like Des Lyttle is on his way to Watford, doing a 'Bosman'. Lyttle was one of several players to speak to Platt on Monday regarding their futures.

His contract, like Dave Beasant's, ran out last Wednesday and Platt was unable to offer him a new one. He had talks with Graham Taylor last night and is expected to sign for Watford within 48 hours.

July 5 1999

Carlton on His Way: Found in the Independant today, brief but to the point:

The veteran Carlton Palmer is set to sign for West Ham in a �400,000 deal this week. The defensive midfielder is expected to meet the east Londoners' manager, Harry Redknapp, in the next few days.

July 3 1999

Eighth Most Memorable Moment: Well, things just get better and better for David Platt. Only day's after landing "the job of the Summer", David Platt's last minute winner at Italia 90 has been voted the Eighth most memorable football moment ever.

�6m for Season Ticket: According to today's Nottingham evening Post Nigel Doughty has been so wrapped up in dealings at Forest these past two weeks, working round the clock to secure the new manager and his own investment of �6m, that he has forgotten to renew his season ticket.

To top it all off, despite investing millions of his own cash into the club, Doughty still had to persuade a member of the office staff to take a renewal form to get his ticket.

Doughty is entitled to sit in the director's box, but instead, has chosen to renew his seat in the Executive stand, where he is able to express his his opinions on the teams performance with a little more freedom.

July 2 1999

Quiet day: Its a very quiet day today on the rumour front. All the papers are full of stuff on David Platt, new man in charge. The only rumours linked with forest are those relating to how much money Platt will have to spend. These figures are estimated at between �8m and �20m, with the majority believing it to be between �10m and �15m. It all depends on which paper you are reading at the time.

Palmer Wants Talks: Interviewed on Sky Sports News channel this evening, Carlton Palmer wants urgent talks with new boss Platt. He is looking to sort out his future at the club, and wants to do it quickly. I got the impression watching the interview that Palmer is not a happy chappy. If I was a betting man I'd put money on him leaving this summer.

Platt starts his job on Monday 5 July, and it looks like his first days in charge are not going to be quiet ones. Still at least he arrived at the club after Pierre Van Huge-ego left so it's not as bad as it could have been.

Ritchie for Hammers: Back in June (18th) it was rumoured that Forest had tabled a bid for Hearts defender Paul Ritchie. Things have been very quiet on the transfer front, due to the search for a manager. However, we have just found this report which would indicate that Forest are not in the running for Ritchie.

West Ham United are favourites to sign Paul Ritchie after Rangers last night pulled out of the bidding for the defender. Ibrox chairman David Murray increased his initial �800,000 offer to �1million but it was rejected by Hearts.

Hammers manager Harry Redknapp acted swiftly and after talks with Tynecastle chief executive Chris Robinson yesterday he will make a firm �1.5m bid for Ritchie today. Redknapp has been scouring Europe to find the ideal central defensive partner for Rio Ferdinand. And after considering Barcelona�s Miguel Angel Nadal and Rangers� Colin Hendry, he has decided to move for the young Scotland international.

Hendry would have cost West Ham around �3m but they can land Ritchie, 10 years his junior, for half that price. The Hearts defender, who has just become a father for the first time and didn�t want to uproot his family, would have preferred a move to Glasgow. But he has always had ambitions of playing down south and was keen for Hearts not to sell him on the cheap.

Robinson, who has already said that he would rather Ritchie did not stay in Scotland, confirmed West Ham�s approach. He said: "We have spoken to one Premiership club about Paul today though I don�t want to say much more than that at this stage. "Rangers did come back to us with another offer though there was no significant increase on their original �800,000 bid. "There was also another offer based on the number of games Paul would play for them but we decided we would not accept that either." Rangers upped their original bid by �200,000 on Wednesday night and gave Hearts until noon yesterday to accept it.

Murray said: "We upped our bid to �1m but that was not enough. That was our final offer."


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